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Interior Minister To Sanitise Passport, Visa Issuance Processes

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Interior NIS
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (fifth from left) flanked by officials of the ministry and Nigeria Immigration Service during the quarterly meeting in Abuja.

The Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has pledged his total commitment towards sanitising the specialised services being rendered by professional service providers; aimed at improving the processing of visas, passports, marriages and citizenship applications in the country. 

The minister made this commitment during a quarterly review meeting with some consultant-special service providers engaged by his ministry at the national headquarters of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Abuja.

In his opening remarks, the minister reiterated the importance of performance review, adding that the quarterly review meetings have helped in addressing challenges experienced by service providers as well as serving as a platform to identify problems that often contribute to inefficient service delivery. 

Aregbesola frowned at what he described as “unacceptable passport procedure racketeering” being perpetrated with the connivance of unscrupulous officials. He read the riot act to those who indulge in “this embarrassing act to desist or be prepared to face dire consequences”. 

The minister identified the human factor as being responsible for the artificial scarcity of passport booklets in passport offices and challenged the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to beam its searchlight on erring officers bent on exploiting passport and visa applications processing to feather their nest. 

While commending the service providers for being worthy partners in attaining effective public service delivery to members of the public who access their services on application and processing for visas, passports, marriages and citizenship acquisition, he urged them to strictly adhere to agreements governing the public-private partnership (PPP) pact with the ministry. 

The minister used the occasion to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the implementation of standard security features on the Nigerian passport, thus making Nigeria one of the top five nations in the world, given the quality of the passport, which is an upgrade on the initial e-passports. 

Earlier, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore in his welcome address commended the minister for the initiative that provided this type of platform for robust engagement with the engaged service providers. 

Belgore explained that previous quarterly meetings have yielded expected results through improvement on an array of services being provided by the service providers, urging them to use the opportunity of quarterly review meetings to further open up new solutions to impediments militating against effective service in their area of engagement. 

A statement by the ministry’s deputy director of press and public relations, Afonja Ajibola said in the course of the quarterly review meeting, all engaged service providers made presentations on their services with professionalism, technological deployment, staff attitude, response time and other indicators as key indicators. 

The consulting service providers are Euphoria Press Limited, Messrs IRRIS Smart Technology Ltd., Thebes Global Resources Ltd., Greater Washington Express and Dataware Solutions. 

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